Broward County YMCA Hires Matt Donovan Away From Somerset Valley YMCA to Lead Expanded Program

In a shakeup of significant proportions in YMCA swimming, the Broward County YMCA in Florida has lured Matt Donovan away from the Somerset Valley YMCA in New Jersey to become their new head coach.

Donovan has been the head coach at Somerset Valley since May of 2000, and a YMCA coach since 1994. When he took over the team, it had 50 swimmers, and it grew to over 400 and one of the most successful YMCA programs in the country during his tenure.

He was named the 2013 Coach of the Meet for the YMCA Long Course Nationals. His women’s team was 6th at the 2014 short course championships, his men’s team was 5th, and the two combined for an overall 6th-place team finish at a meet where team scores are more important than most at the club level.

The move is not as simple as just replacing the old head coach, however. John Spire is the head coach of the current team that holds the name the YMCA of Broward County, but operates out of just one of the organization’s three sites. He will remain on staff, and in fact it is at his behest that the YMCA will be uniting three programs at three different YMCA’s into a single program that will serve the entire county – sort of a new formation.

The YMCA of Broward County team this year sent a single swimmer, Mark Burnley, to the YMCA National Championships, where he placed as high as 69th in the 500 free (4:46.57).

The other two programs, which to this point have focused on competition in the local South Florida league, are the Greater Hollywood YMCA and the Pembroke Pines YMCA.

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KSC Swim Team!!

Great job kid! Best of luck and keep doing work!

My comment is this. Why can’t they take care of the men’s locker room steam room. It’s been that way for years.This is one of the biggest reasons why a lot of men leave the y & go some place else.

Ima Shocked

In just a matter of several weeks Coach Matt has left the Broward area. Good luck to you and your future endeavors. We were excited to see the change he brought to the Broward but are upset that he did not deliver as promised! Signed SHOCKED.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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